Showing posts from 2013

Review of Albion Dreaming: A popular history of LSD in Britain, by Andy Roberts

Like most bibliophiles, I have a massive pile of books to read, some of which richly deserve  reviewing. I might just be catching up... This review seemed historically appropriate, since the 70th anniversary of the first ever LSD trip happened just the other day. Albion Dreaming: A popular history of LSD in Britain, by Andy Roberts I met Andy Roberts at the Breaking Convention conference in 2011, where I was delivering a talk on psychedelics in magic. He thrust this book into my hands, and I'm glad he did. A number of worthwhile books have been written about the US experience of LSD; Roberts's goal for the book is to give a British perspective on the rise of acid. From the blurb: ''Albion Dreaming' traces the drug's complex history from its arrival in Britain during 1952 through its use in psychotherapy, the secret military experiments at Porton Down and the British hippie mov

Review of IMAGINAL REALITY by Aaron B. Daniels

IMAGINAL REALITY (Volume One: Journey to the Voids. Volume Two: Voidcraft) by Aaron B. Daniels, Ph.D. with Laura M. Daniels, M.Ac. I have taken my time to review this book because it has given me so much to think about. Jaded habitué of the magical scene that I am, I am seldom impressed by anything I read these days, but this did it. There are three main ideas that stand out for me: The Eight Voids that surround our experience of selfhood; the centrality of the structure of moment to moment experience - the 'structure of the now'; and the idea that magic is something much more universal than magicians normally give it credit for. The declared philosophical attitude of the book is described as existentialist, nihilist and mystical. This sounds like a funny mixture, but it works very well in discussing the limits of what we actually know. The starting point of what we know is what the author refers to as the 

Review of Book of Baphomet

The Book of Baphomet by Nikki Wyrd and Julian Vayne If you've heard this particular god-name, then you've very likely asked: What is Baphomet? Which of the many answers to that question you find the most appealing may depend on whether you identify as a Thelemite, a Satanist, a Chaos Magician. Or even a Templar.  This book seems to have set out to cover all those bases, and a few you're unlikely to have thought of. And it does a very good job indeed. The Book of Baphomet erupts with ideas and this review would become much too long if I mentioned a third of them, but the biggest theme is perhaps: Considerations of human life on the biggest scale and the smallest. The big questions: Nature. Wilderness. Responsibility. The nature of our identification with affinity groups and the question of what community means, within our species and including others. Rich ideas of blending 'nature' with human technology such as control sys